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Columbia Accepts Invitation to Ivy League Tournament

Mark Rassell


In a decision about as surprising as your decision to open up this article despite gaining everything you needed to know from the title, Columbia Men’s Hockey team has accepted an offer to participate in next year’s Ivy League club hockey tournament, hosted by Princeton University. While the tournament has yet to be confirmed given the uncertainties of COVID-19, the Columbia Lions should be heading to Princeton should the 2020-21season occur.

Hobey Baker Arena

The news comes as a gift for many Columbia players as this past seasons’ success at the Neumann University hosted tournament was argued as one of the main catalysts for Columbia’s break-out season. CUCH Hockey recently received news that they had been banned from returning to the Neumann University tournament after a massive controversy regarding the school’s location overshadowed the entire weekend. The controversy could be argued to have been a good thing for Columbia’s hockey program as the hatred online from other club programs in the country such as Northern Virginia led to Columbia Hockey finding an identity for their team: the bad boys of ACHA D3 college hockey. The new-found identity formed after the Neumann tournament led Columbia Hockey to their best season ever, placing second in the conference. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger had stated in a recent press conference that he believed this past season was the best season the hockey team has ever had in his memory. He later added he has only been aware that his school had a club hockey team for nine months.

Although the dates have not been confirmed for next year’s Ivy league tournament. The invitation shows that the resurgence of Columbia club hockey in the past few years has not gone unnoticed by their Ivy league peers. Other teams expected to be in attendance at the tournament include host Princeton, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Yale. Through my extensive research (about four minutes online); I have come to the conclusion that the other two Ivy league schools, Cornell and University of Pennsylvania, may not be participating. Did you know that University of Pennsylvania was considered Ivy League? I certainly did not. You almost feel bad for those guys because they are included in a small prestigious group, yet they are the least popular member. It is like being anyone in NSYNC not named Justin Timberlake, or the other two members of Destiny’s child. Some would say that is why they do not have a division three club hockey team. They simply cannot take having to explain that they are just as much in the Ivy League as their more popular counterparts.

Members of Columbia’s hockey team were thrilled when they heard they received the invite to next year’s tournament. Many stated that it was a life goal of theirs to receive the validation that they are recognized as one of the elite (club hockey programs) in the Lvy League. One player, however, who is rumored to return for as a 5th year senior, is not excited to participate in next year’s tournament. Veteran Defenceman Dean Foskett is known for his rugged style of play to match his ruthless verbal abuse of opposing players. Most of his verbal attacks and mental warfare stem from the prestige of his university’s status and the number of zeroes in his father’s bank account compared to the academic status of the community colleges that make up the rest of the Metropolitan Hockey Conference. When asked about what it will be like playing against other players from prestigious universities who also have wealthy parents, Foskett replied: “You ever see that Will Smith movie where he’s hired to kill some guy, but that guy turns out to be a clone of himself? I imagine this tournament will be something like that.” It will be interesting to see whether Foskett can adjust his verbal warfare, or if he will challenge opposing players to pull out their mobile banking apps mid-game to compare performances of their endowment funds. This is one of the underlying stories that we will have to monitor closely if Foskett returns next year.

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Mark Rassell is a Junior Reporter for the Columbia Men’s Ice Hockey team. He can be found on Twitter @Mark_Rassell. He thanks you for your support and if you’re reading this Chris, please delete your burner account.

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